E Can The BoE Raise Interest Rates In The UK?


Following the footsteps of Mario Draghi, the central bank chief, the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney delivered a hawkish statement to the markets last week. In under a week, the central bank chief switched from being dovish to hawkish.

Carney’s comments were made at the central banking forum in Portugal over the week, which also saw participation from other central bank chiefs including ECB president Mario Draghi, BoC governor Poloz, BoJ governor Kuroda.

The comments from Carney were surprising considering that the BoE governor had just told the markets a week before that “now was not the right time to raise interest rates”.

The hawkish comment from Carney comes after the BoE had a split vote on interest rate hike. There were three dissenters from the MPC who voted for a 25 basis point rate hike.

Carney: Monetary policy stimulus removal required

In his comments, the BoE Governor said: “an overshoot of inflation above the target can only be temporary.” He was speaking in reference to the current inflation rate which stands firmly above the central bank’s 2% inflation target rate.

The central bank had previously reiterated that it would tolerate an inflation overshoot but only temporarily.

The BoE governor also said that the central bank would need to keep a close track on the inflation trade-offs. Noting that “spare capacity is eroding,” the governor said that the MPC has been clear on its tolerance for the inflation overshoot.

Among a host of BoE members who has been speaking last week, it was the BoE Chief, Andy Haldane who was more hawkish just a week before. His comments came a day after Carney’s dovish speech.

The chief economist said that interest rates should rise during the second half of the year.

Speaking about the MPC meeting, Carney said that although different MPC members had their views on the outlook, any changes will be limited in scope. Carney suggested that the central bank’s MPC will continue to debate about rate hikes. This goes in line with Carney’s earlier comments that now was not the right time to hike rates.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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